How Editing Works

Editing Philosophy

Maintaining a comprehensive database of all types of music is a large task, and MusicBrainz depends on its users to spot mistakes in the database and then to take the initiative to correct these errors. To help with that task the MusicBrainz editing and voting system was designed, it gives MusicBrainz users the ability to update and maintain the database effectively and easily.

Although in the past some new data was automatically imported from a number of sources (such as FreeDB, the EMusic collection, the CD Index database, and metadata submitted via FreeAmp) the quality was generally lacking and had to be manually fixed to conform to the MusicBrainz style guidelines. Thus the vast majority of new data that is now entered into the database is added by MusicBrainz users, like you!

MusicBrainz is an open community with the goal that the people who use MusicBrainz will take it upon themselves to correct any incorrect information they may come across and/or add information where it may be lacking.

Please also read how to vote for information on the review process each edit goes through before being accepted into the database.

Editing Guide

In order to maintain a consistent level of quality in the database, editors should familiarize themselves with the MusicBrainz style guidelines. Your changes will be judged against these guidelines when other users vote on your edits.

To edit MusicBrainz, follow these steps:

  1. Create a MusicBrainz account and log in. Anyone can create an account. We don't ask for any private information, so there is no chance for us to give this information to anyone! One thing we do ask that all users of MusicBrainz follow the Code of Conduct.
  2. Search for your favorite artist and view the releases by that artist.
  3. If you spot a mistake, a typo, or a mis-classification click on the appropriate Edit/Move/Add link (usually next to the data, on the sidebar or on the tabs at the top of the page). If you are not logged into MusicBrainz (see step #1) you will not see these edit links.
  4. The edit links will take you to pages where you can edit/add the information for that artist. On the edit pages you will find further instructions and sometimes links to style guidelines that will provide a guidance for this particular type of edit. Please read and follow these guides - they are important in order for the entire database to be consistent. If the edit page has more than one field that can be edited, but not all fields need to be changed, just leave the correct fields like they were.
  5. Once you click on submit on the edit/add pages, you will be taken back to the release/artist page that you just came from. An edit will be entered into the database: you can usually see it by clicking Open Edits on the sidebar of the page (or, in some cases, you'll need to check All Edits instead).
  6. The default edits page lists all the edits that are currently pending, showing what will change with each one. Voting is as useful as editing: to know more about it, check Introduction to Voting.
  7. If 3 people unanimously vote for or against a suggested change, the change is immediately accepted or rejected, respectively. Otherwise, after 7 days:
    1. If there are no votes, the edit is automatically accepted.
    2. If there is at least one vote, the edit is accepted if there are more "Yes" votes than "No" votes. If not, it is rejected.
  8. Some edits, such as release adds, will have the data show in MusicBrainz as soon as they're entered - if they get voted down, that data will be removed.
  9. If you find yourself in a position where you have made a mistake, you can cancel your own edits by going to your open edits (a link can be found on your profile page). When you find a bad edit, click on its Cancel edit link to mark it as "To be canceled"; it will then be removed from the database within the hour. This is much better and less time-consuming than creating a new edit that corrects the bad edit (in which case both the correction and the original bad edit would have to be voted on, creating extra work for everyone).


See Auto-Editors.

Get Editing!

One good option is to just check some artists you enjoy, and see what you can add or correct. Or if you'd like to participate in the editing process, but don't know where to start, you can check out the reports page, which lists several things that might be wrong.